Red Wings: Best Players Available for Day 2 of the 2023 Draft

The Hockey Writers

Day 1 of the 2023 NHL Draft is in the books for the Detroit Red Wings. The franchise walked away with two highly talented prospects:

Related: 8 Red Wings Trade Targets for the 2023 NHL Draft

Now the focus turns to Day 2, where the Red Wings are scheduled to pick eight times, including three consecutive picks in the second round. What’s next for Steve Yzerman, Kris Draper, and the Red Wings?

Danielson & Sandin Pellikka’s Impact on the Prospect Pipeline

Heading into the draft, Detroit’s top priorities were to add goal-scoring forwards and right defensemen, plus bolster their already deep prospect pipeline. Danielson isn’t the purest of goal-scorers, but is an offensive catalyst nonetheless. And Sandin Pellikka is a high-end right defenseman who fits in perfectly behind Moritz Seider.

Detroit Red Wings prospect Nate Danielson.
Nate Danielson gives the Red Wings a much-needed right-handed center. (Ryan Molag / Langley Events Centre)

Where does that leave us for Day 2? Well, the Red Wings still need more offensive firepower. In addition, they should continue to add depth across the board.

Related: THW’s Free 2023 NHL Draft Guide

There are plenty of prospects still available who can address these needs. While they don’t have the same appeal as Detroit’s first-round picks, they still have the ability to become solid NHL contributors. Below are several prospects who could be targeted in the second round or later.

Red Wings: Forward Targets

Up front, the Red Wings have a nice core – Danielson, Marco Kasper, Carter Mazur, Elmer Soderblom, and, of course, Lucas Raymond and Jonatan Berggren already in the NHL. Moving into the second round, Yzerman and Draper can add to that group.

Of the players listed above, I’m looking at Wahlberg, Whitelaw, Rehkopf, and Pitre for 41st, 42nd, and 43rd picks. The four have vastly different skill sets, but all have the high compete level that the Red Wings love.

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Red Wings: Defense Targets

On defense, the left side of Detroit’s blue line is stacked. Simon Edvinsson, William Wallinder, Albert Johansson, Shai Buium, and Jared McIsaac all have a future in the NHL (though their respective ceilings differ greatly). The right side was a little bare until the Sandin Pellikka selection. Still, the Red Wings need more depth.

Strbak would be a nice addition to Sandin Pellikka on the right side. The two are almost polar opposites. Sandin Pellikka is a smaller, offensive defenseman who oozes skill. On the other hand, Strbak is a hulking, physical blueliner who can play in all situations. He played in the USHL last season—the Red Wings scout the USHL heavily—and is committed to Michigan State for the 2023-24 season.

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In the later rounds, MacKinnon and Bergstrom could develop into gems with a few more years of refinement.

Final Word

The Red Wings walked away with two great players in Danielson and Sandin Pellikka after Day 1. There’s plenty of talent available to bolster their prospect pipeline heading into Day 2.

At some point, the Red Wings should draft a goalie as well. It’s not a pressing need with Sebastian Cossa in the fold – it’s just good to have depth at the position. Ian Blomquist, ​​Damian Clara, Adam Gajan, Ruslan Khazheyev, and Max Lundgren should be considered at varying points in the draft.

The Red Wings are off to a great start. Hopefully Day 2 follows suit.

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